Lindsey, Northwestern edge Illinois in OT
Guard Scottie Lindsey scored a game-high 22 points, including two free throws to break a tie in the final minute of overtime, and Northwestern held on for a 72-68 win over Illinois on Friday night in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams in Rosemont, Ill.
Forward Vic Law scored 16 points before fouling out for the Wildcats. Guard Bryant McIntosh added 14 points for Northwestern (5-3, 1-0 in the Big Ten), which bounced back from a one-point loss at Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.
Forward Leron Black led the Fighting Illini with 15 points, while guards Mark Alstork and Te’Jon Lucas contributed 14 points apiece. Illinois (6-2, 0-1) dropped its second game in a row and fell to 0-2 on the road.
Lindsey gave Northwestern a 70-68 lead when he sank a pair of free throws with 59 seconds remaining in the extra session. Alstork and Lucas each missed shots that could have evened the score. Wildcats guard Isiah Brown capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with 2 seconds to go.
The score was even at 63 at the end of regulation. McIntosh lost control of the ball in the final seconds as he dribbled into the paint. Black narrowly missed a half-court shot at the buzzer that would have given Illinois the win.
Illinois built a 36-32 lead at the break. Northwestern opened the second half on a 7-0 run to go up 39-36 before the Fighting Illini broke the scoring drought 3:40 into the half on a jump shot by Black.
This marked the only meeting of the regular season between the in-state rivals.